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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C

Michael Dwyer's mother searches for answers into her son's death in new film

The Tipperary man was shot dead in Bolivia in 2009. Authorities state he had links to a terrorist group – something his family categorically refutes.

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CAROLINE DWYER HAS spent the last six years trying to find out what happened to her son, Michael, who was shot dead in Bolivia.

International inquiry

In a moving and personal documentary due to be aired on RTÉ tonight, she travels to Bolivia, Brazil, Washington and Brussels as she searches for answers and looks for an international inquiry into why her son died so far from home.

In 2009, Michael Dwyer was shot dead by a secret police unit in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Tipperary man was accused of having ties to terrorist group activity against Bolivia and its President, Evo Morales.

Caroline-Aisling-Dwyer-1 RTÉ Caroline and Aisling Dwyer. RTÉ

His family categorically refutes these allegations.

Bolivia has insisted since the outset of the case that Dwyer was shot to death – along with two other men – in a gunfight with security forces at the Las Americas Hotel in Santa Cruz.

Inside-Court-in-Santa-Cruz1 RTÉ Inside the court in Santa Cruz RTÉ

An autopsy by Irish State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, however, concluded that such a scenario was impossible, and that Dwyer had been executed without firing a shot.

Photographic evidence of the crime scene also revealed there was no weapon at Dwyer’s side, contrary to the initial claims of Bolivian authorities.

Mid-EXT-HOtel-Las-Americas2 The hotel where Michael Dwyer was shot.

Speaking after his death, Dwyer said her son “had no hidden agendas” and was not from a political family.

He would have had no interest or knowledge of Bolivian politics.

Tonight’s documentary explores what led a seemingly ordinary young man like Michael Dwyer to Bolivia. The film accompanies his mother and chronicles her journey. 

The film is part detective story, as she follows the story back to the beginning and part meditation on motherhood.

A former prosecutor involved in the case, Marcela Soza tells Dwyer in the documentary that he found no evidence her son was involved in a plot to kill the Bolivian president.

“I found no evidence that Michael Dwyer had any criminal link to this case,” he added.

Death of a son – The Killing of Michael Dwyer is being aired tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One. 

Read: Mother of Michael Dwyer: ‘We were followed and intimidated in Bolivia’>

Read: Mother of killed Michael Dwyer: “My son was an innocent victim”>

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